As eyes around the world turned to PyeongChang for the Winter Olympics, schools took the opportunity to highlight that athletes and coaches represent not only their country but also their schools, spotlighting attending alums’ success through social media posts and articles. While most schools provided some degree of Olympic coverage with social media posts and press releases, Dartmouth, Brown and UCLA beat out the competition, introducing Instagram stories and unique article series that documented the Olympic experience from new vantage points and made their Olympians accessible to their fellow alums.
Dartmouth’s Olympic Notebook article series and advice from past Olympians on its alumni site promoted its affiliated athletes. The notebook compiled a day-to-day summary of each affiliated participant’s journey through the games while its advice series reached across generations to provide former Dartmouth Olympians’ advice to current ones.
Dartmouth’s Olympic Notebook (Truncated)
Brown and UCLA went the extra mile in their social media Olympic coverage, providing not only posts but also Olympic takeovers. Bobsledders Lauren Gibbs, a Brown alumna, and Carlos Valdes, a UCLA alumnus, took over their alma maters’ Instagram Stories to document their experience. While both schools provided a behind-the-scenes look at the games that only alumni-athletes could provide, just UCLA successfully promoted the takeover throughout its alumni Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.
Brown University’s Instagram Takeover Promotional Post
Sample UCLA Alumni Promotional Twitter Post
When covering high-profile events like the Olympics, schools should take advantage of the opportunity to showcase the excellence achieved by their former students as well as use their success to help their entire school community feel invested in the moment.